Dead Pixels & Stuck Pixels

This is the problem I’m having, so far I’m waiting on an evaluation of the photos by the Acer tech team. The blotchiness of the photos is not the actual laptop screen, it’s my camera that’s seen better days. It had an up close and personal encounter with a cup of coffee a few months back and has a scratched camera lens. The laptop is actually very clean and well taken care of because it’s my baby, it’s also my life.

The nature of LCD technology is a delicate one. Every manufacturer has its dead pixel policies. Some won’t do anything until it’s 10+ dead pixels, some less and some even more than that. There’s a difference between dead pixels which you cannot repair by “traditional” methods for stuck pixels.

LCD monitors are made up of layers of thin glass panels with liquid crystal fluid in between them. These layers are extremely delicate under certain situations. Dropping the laptop, banging it or picking it up by the corner of the screen is not a great idea (none of which I did or do).

Difference between Dead and Stuck Pixels:

Dead Pixels – Dead pixels are black in color, do not respond to light finger pressure on the screen and remain seated in their position no matter what you may do. They don’t respond to light finger massage or tapping methods either. They are dead space between liquid crystals within the display or broken glass panels within the display. They usually crop up as blotches of black or lines of black on your display. They are not fixable and never go away, if you have your manufacturers warranty still in play get in contact with them, if you have an extended warranty check it for dead pixel policies and contact the company or supplier you bought your extended warranty from. The black splotches in the pictures is dead pixels (above pictures).

Stuck Pixels – First, to understand what it is you need to understand how pixels “work”. There are three modes to a pixel in and LCD monitor. Sub, high and low modes. Sub pixel mode is for your grays, blacks and whites in your display while high is for one spectrum of colors and low modes are for another spectrum of colors. Basically turning them on, off and partially on or off to display a video or image on your screen. When a pixel gets stuck it gets stuck in either 3 of these modes or positions of on, off or partially on\off creating what you see above with the green, yellow and dots of red and blue.

Methods of fixing stuck pixels – WARNING: DO NOT ATTEMPT IF YOU HAVE A WARRANTY IN PLACE (it may void your warranty and most techs are taught NOT to use these methods – use at your own risk with the understanding that you may make it worse and void your warranty).

Tapping method: Take a soft, slight damp cloth and place it over the area. Using a pencil, eraser side down or a stylus or tablet pen tap gently at the area being sure to try your best to hit the stuck pixels and no other area. Tablet pens are really useful for this method. You can use your finger as well. Tap a little harder in succession of every 5 to 10 seconds. Tap hard enough to see the screen blanch a touch and then come back to normal (you know, when you wipe your finger across some dirt it does that white out fading when you do that).

Massage method: Soft damp cloth so you don’t scratch the screen, a pencil with an eraser end down and run in circular motion over the stuck pixels. You can also use your finger.

This next method don’t ever use (in my opinion) unless the unit is old or you are absolutely sure you won’t invent new curse words if you destroy your equipment. This one is a dangerous shot in the dark if you are desperate.

Heating method: Take your laptop and set the screen saver and power saving mode off. Clear a desk drawer and power her up plugged in with the adapter cord. Stick the laptop in the drawer with the screen slight closed so as not to put it in sleep mode (you can turn off sleep mode too) then close the drawer, leaving it open a crack. Leave it there for a few hours, sometimes it takes a few days. The theory behind this one is the heat liquefies the LC fluid to make if flow better into the areas it’s not getting to. I personally would never try this as it can damage other components of the laptop or make it much worse a situation that what it already is. Again, do this at your own risk, be prepared to lose the laptop if you are desperate enough to try this.

Software for stuck pixels:

Software out there that can help by shifting through the color spectrums at different rates to try to force the stuck pixels to resolve are the following:

JScreenFix
UDPixel

And here’s a great WikiHow with all the resources and above explained in a step by step how to with a video and other great links on stuck pixel software (finding them and repairing them).

WihiHow Article on Stuck Pixels

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